A new 26-metre longliner for Greymouth company Westfleet has been undergoing sea trials, and has been handed over to its owners before starting fishing for ling.
Designed by Oceantech, Te Runanga has been built by AIMEX Services Group in Nelson, and is the latest in a growing portfolio of pelagic and demersal longline vessels that Oceantech has developed for fishing operators in Australia and New Zealand in recent years.
This is the second longliner built in New Zealand – following the delivery of the smaller Santy Maria in 2016. The new Te Runanga is 2 metres longer than Westfleet’s older longliners – and crucially, it has almost double the fishroom space of the older boats at 11 cubic metres.
Te Runanga is expected to be at sea for close to 300 days a year with a crew of eight and has a full catch traceability system, enabling customers to trace their fish right back to where it was caught. It also operates with a baffler rig and a laser system to prevent bird strikes.
Westfleet is part owned by NZ seafood giant Sealord with Craig Boote, who was a fishing skipper at just eighteen before buying the company in 2006 and subsequently teaming up with Sealord.
The design of Te Runanga has been developed with accommodation areas in the superstructure to provide all-round visibility, to encourage interaction between the skipper and crew.